Bing Desktop Refreshed With Facebook Notifications, Real-Time News/Weather, And More

Microsoft knows its waging a tough battle with Bing Desktop. After all, desktop search giants like Google and Yahoo have long since dominated the space. But even a small percentage of this market share means big bucks in advertising and referral dollars, and this week, Microsoft refreshed Bing Desktop with a raft of new features. Over 10 million people presently have Bing Desktop installed, and the company is hoping to reach even more following the addition of these new features.

  • News at a Glance and Trending Topics:Interested in world news and not crazy about entertainment stories? Or vice versa? With the updates to the news app, you can stay up to date on news across categories with a glance. We’ve added a new cascading layout that lets you see images and text summaries so you can keep up on the news you’re interested in. We’ve also added a visual collection of the top trending items on the Web so you can keep your finger on what’s happening in a gorgeous waterfall layout.
  • Facebook Notifications: To help you keep tabs on what’s happening with your Facebook friends, you will now see a notification appear whenever there is an update for you to check out.
  • Real-Time Weather Snapshot:Should you pack an umbrella? With the updates to Bing Desktop, you can answer that question with a simple click. We have added real-time weather customized to where you live.
  • Inline Search: Now you can search directly from a webpage, word document or PDF file simply by highlighting the word or phrase and clicking the Bing icon.
  • Faster Ways to Explore via Bing Desktop Apps:We are announcing a new weather app and have overhauled the news and Facebook apps from the ground up with a new look that makes it easier to stay up to date at a glance.
  • Searching Just Got Easier: Ever been reading an article and wanted to get more information about a topic or phrase? We know how lots of people deal with this: copy the text, launch a browser and paste the words into the search box. With Inline Search, now all you have to do is highlight what you want to search, hit the Bing icon and you will see a preview of search results in a convenient window without ever leaving what you were doing.

Still on the outside looking in? If you opt to change that, let us know how you like things in comments below.